Chocolate Chip Cookies

I rarely bake cookies any more. There’s never anyone at home that wants to eat them. We all seem to be watching our waist. So when an opportunity presents itself I’m right there ready to bake. I love chocolate chip cookies warm out of the oven with an icy cold glass of milk. They need to be soft in the center with a little crispiness around the edges, have semisweet chocolate chips, and be full of walnuts. I usually do half plain, half with walnuts. Not everyone shares my love of nuts. I slightly under bake my cookies; I find that they keep better. I don’t want to bite into a hard cookie the next day. These cookies stay just moist enough, making me feel confident that I can bake them the day before an event. I baked these cookies for a family gathering this past week. When I was leaving the tray was completely empty, which put a smile on my face.

Cream butter and sugars.
Cream butter and sugars.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Mix to incorporate.
Mix to incorporate.
Add chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Just stir a few seconds to incorporate.
Add chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Just stir a few seconds to incorporate.
Drop on to parchment lined baking sheet I inch apart.
Drop on to parchment lined baking sheet I inch apart.
Cool on a wire rack.
Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¾ cup organic pure cane sugar, or granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2-3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (if you love the cookies very chocolaty add 3, I use 2)

2/3 chopped walnuts, optional, or divide batter and make half plain and half with nuts just use ½ cup walnuts in that case.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat together the butter, brown sugar, pure cane sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Mixture will be light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix an additional 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture just till it comes together. Add the chocolate chips, and walnuts if using. Mix on low for about 25 seconds, just to mix together. At this point I refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a teaspoon or small cookie scoop place cookies 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotate cookie sheet at the 7 minute mark. I like mine light and just golden.

Cool on a wire rack.

Yields 4 dozen cookies

Store in an air tight container

 

Bakers note: I love to infuse my sugar with a vanilla bean for these cookies. Keep a container on hand for cookies and other bake goods.

I consider room temperature butter to be at least 65 degrees. I give the eggs 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

 

Blueberry Pie

I just love baking homemade pie. It is such a satisfying feeling. When I slip the pie into the oven I can barely wait for the sweet aroma to permeate the air throughout my home. My favorite summer pie is blueberry. I’ve been patiently waiting for that little container full of blueberries that say Hammonton, NJ I love that they are local. I wouldn’t dare bake my pie without these fresh berries, and I’d never bake this pie any other time of year. I’m day dreaming in the cold winter months of baking the pie. It’s the anticipation that makes it even sweeter on that first bite. I will be sharing this pie with my Mother-in-law Helen. She is turning 89 years young on the 23rd of June. I happen to know that she too loves blueberry pie.

Fresh blueberries
Fresh blueberries

 

Fresh blueberries, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Lemon zest, pure cane sugar, cornstarch, salt.
Fresh blueberries, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, pure cane sugar, cornstarch, salt.

 

Roll pie crust.
Roll pie crust.

 

Pour filling into prepared crust.
Pour filling into prepared crust. Slip little bits of unsalted butter into the blueberry mixture.

 

Brush on milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Brush on milk and sprinkle with sugar.

 

 

Let pie cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Let pie cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Blueberry Pie

4 heaping cups fresh blueberries

1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

¾ cup of pure cane sugar, or granulated sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Place washed berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir sugar, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, and salt. Combine the mixture with the blueberries stirring gently to coat. Pour the blueberry mixture into a prepared pastry crust. Tuck dots of cold butter into the berries. Top with your 2nd crust. Flute the edges of the pie. Cut a hole in the center for an air vent. Then cut slits in the top of the pie around the circle. Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes. Please don’t skip this step; it gives you a flakier crust. Use whole milk with a pastry brush to wash the top of the crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the crust is golden and the pie is bubbling in the center. About 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely. I cool my pie for 3-4 hours before cutting into the pie. After cooling my pie I refrigerate it overnight. I love it ice cold. You can serve the pie room temperature as well.

Double crust pastry

2/3 cup solid shortening, very cold

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

6-8 tablespoons ice cold water

*For a sweet crust add 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar

In a medium bowl stir the flour and salt with a whisk. Add the shortening and cut in using a pastry blender till the mixture resembles tiny peas. Add the ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork until the dough starts to form a ball. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead just to form a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Thanks for stopping by!!